July 31, 2009
This is a pretty amazing official photo from the White House:
Here is a great explanatory article from the American Thinker. As I commented elsewhere in this here blog, Our President has revealed much about himself in the last week or two.
This pretty much takes the cake.
And makes you wonder if a.) the WH photo editor is a lifer with no political ax, or 2.) there are any photos they won't publish and what in the world could they show?
h/t Instapundit Friday night.
Happy Damn-Near August...last post of the month.
July 30, 2009
Here is a poll on Barack Obama's economic performance. I got it from someone whose political opinions are completely unknown to me.
I took it and found
|Option||Result||Extremely well. We are undoubtedly moving in the right direction.||16%||Fairly well. There's still a long way to go.||9%||Not well at all. His plans are hurting more than helping.||73%||Not sure/No opinion.||2%|
Of course this has be a skewed right-wing poll. The option for Extremely well wasn't the only radio button that worked.
Just as the lowest levels of transparency came to be known as "Nixonian Secrecy", so too will the highest levels of self-importance come to be known as "Obamanian Hubris".
My personal favorite episode of Obamanian Hubris came when he gifted Queen Elizabeth with an iPod. And iPod loaded with his (Obama's) speeches.
Think about that for a moment.
Queen Elizabeth actually knew Winston Churchill and was there (or at least around) when he gave his most important and memorable speeches both during and after the war.
I'm sure that an iPod loaded with speeches that contain nothing memorable beyond, "Hope and Change", and, "Yes, we can!" is just a real prize to someone like that.
That iPod has almost certainly been placed with the rest of the Windsor jewelry in the Tower of London. Does anyone doubt that?
July 29, 2009
Here you can buy the Chia Obama. Put some seeds on its head, and it grows hair. You can get a Determined Obama or a Happy Obama.
I looked for an Apologizing Obama or a Bowing Obama and didn't find one. Nor did I find a Socialist Obama because none of them has hands for dipping into your pockets.
It does come with a teeny weeny TelePrompTer to tell the seeds to grow.
The most best-est President ev-ah can't find time to read his own health care plan but he knows the ins and outs of the Honduran Constitution better than the wise Latinas and Latinos that sit on the Honduran Supreme Court.
I guess he figures that the world would be a better place with two Hugo Chavezes rather than just one.
Remember how for the last three years of George W. Bush's second term we were all treated to conspiracy theory after conspiracy theory that either President Bush himself or Dick Cheney would find some way to declare Martial Law and then suspend elections come 2008?
Sure, the actual accusations came from from the fringes of the political left but there was never anyone from the "mainstream left" that would tell them to shut up and quit being stupid*. Indeed, most of those from the mainstream left would sit silently as these same sorts claimed that 9/11 was an inside job directed by the White House itself.
Well, Former Honduran President Zelaya has attempted to do just exactly what the fever swamp left told us that the Bush Administration would try to do: Suspend the country's constitution and illegally remain in office.
Now, let us imagine that President Bush actually did try to attempt this but consequently was forcibly removed from office by the military at the direction of the Supreme Court.
Big cheers from the Left, of course. (And whether or not you want to believe it, big cheers from the Right, too, because the law is the law.)
But I am not finished. In my scenario, Australian Prime Minister John Howard declares George W. Bush is still our country's President and uses all of the assets at his disposal to try and get Bush re-installed in the White House.
Boos and hisses from the Left, of course. (And the Right).
Congratulations, Hopenchangers! President Obama is John Howard in this scenario.
(* The few times I personally ran across one of those "Bush will declare Martial Law and suspend elections" nuts I managed to end the argument very quickly by offering to bet them $1000 that George W. Bush would leave office on January 20, 2009. They have no response to that whatsoever. It strips them completely naked. Hell, give them odds. It still works.)
July 28, 2009
While the details are still being worked out on where, when and over which beverage Sgt. Crowley of the Cambridge Police Department gets to hear explained to him exactly why he is a racist by Teacher in Chief Barack Obama, I am left wondering exactly how many "teachable moments" concerning the presumption if innocence President Obama missed while in law school.
And while teaching law, for that matter.
Of course, Law School is only couple of years, so I guess a guy who can sit in the good Reverend Wright's congregation for twenty years and recall nothing is going to miss a few things.
iowahawk, as usual, hits on the real crux of the matter. It is class, not race.
Go here to read about the grim reality that faces A**hole-Americans.
July 27, 2009
Why is a liberal like a sex offender?
Neither can keep his hands off your business.
July 26, 2009
The Japanese are thinking of selling off some U.S. debt, but may not, knowing that it would devalue the debt that they already have. The Chinese have warned that we not spend so much and they're the major consumer of U. S. debt, which was, until these ginormous spending bills, considered to be one of the safest places in the world to invest money. Because they know that likely way out of this box is the Latin American option, which is inflating the currency to pay back debt with devalued dollars.
A very useful tool is Tom's Inflation Calculator. Using it you find that if you bought a house in 1975 with a 30-year mortgage, the last dollar that you paid, in 2005, was worth 26¢ of the dollar that you borrowed in 1975. And with the exception of the Carter years, economically there were some good years here. What if the Fed deliberately inflates the currency to a 15% inflation rate? Any debt with a 30-year maturity at an inflation rate would be paid back with a dollar worth 1.31¢ of a dollar today. At a 10% inflation rate it's 5¢. This would surely make paying back enormous public debt easier, but it would make it damned near impossible to sell any more public debt and would destroy the faith and credibility of the United States, at a time when the world needs her most, now that Europe is sinking into a quagmire of a declining, aging population demanding its nanny-state protections and without the confidence to protect its culture or even police things in its own backyard.
July 25, 2009
July 23, 2009
A man sits in a congregation with a preacher who for 20 years thunders, "God DAMN America." A man is given his coming-out party by Bill Ayers, an unrepentant member of the Weather Underground, who built a nail bomb to kill real Americans and it exploded, murdering three people. A man who has a letter from Saul Alinsky's son praising his grasp of Alinsky's totalitarian policies.
Now. Which is more believable. That man in drag as a patriotic American president?
Well, at least with those shoes he'd have a real excuse to bow to the Saudi king.
July 22, 2009
Honestly, there is nothing that I could say that could possibly subtract further from his performance tonight.
There is suddenly justification for Midland building its dream convention center downtown. Federal Government conventions. The fastest growing job segment in the country is looking for appropriate locales for its much needed conventions. (Gotta be able to take a break from that strenuous job of telling Granny she can't have her surgery or filing the paperwork to get Ahmed al Jihadi released from Guantanamo...)
A Department of Justice spokeswoman said, "We do have guidance that says avoid locations and accommodations that give the appearance of being lavish or are resort destinations."
Read the whole thing here.
Vegas is out. Orlando is out. LA is out. SF is out. Now it is our time in the sun! Do it! Do it now! Before Odessa figures out that it is really their time even more than it is Midland's time.
This will also provide instant justification for the just-announced repairs and upgrades to our airport. And give added ammo to the argument that American needs to leave their jets here. That immediately-forthcoming wave of convention goers will demand jet service.
To quote a Brit whose name I've forgotten,
The only hope is that politicians will choke on their own lies.
Listening to Air America radio again (it was my turn) you will hear many callers and hosts saying that the profit motive should be taken completely out of the health care industry, the idea being that the reason costs are so high is because insurance companies make such obscene profits.
My health insurance carrier is Assurant. Assurant's profit margin is 7.82%.
You have to remember that while ObamaCare may not actually make a "profit" per se, that any government bureacracy requires administrative overhead, especially one as massive as one that would handle President Obama's socialized medicine program. To the consumer, me, there is no difference between paying for what ends up as profit and what ends up as overhead.
Anybody want to make the case that the monster federal bureaucracy staffed with union-protected bureacrats and their overly-generous government pensions is going to have an administrative overhead level less than Assurant's 7.82% profit margin?
The government's overhead will be much higher. As will the waiting list for care be.
Presuming that you aren't too old to get the government's rationed care to begin with.
Plus, the Congress is making a strategic error by trying to take the profit out of so many industries. You would think that the last thing they would want to do is free up a bunch of smart people from high income jobs and make politics more attractive in comparison to the private sector.
July 20, 2009
It is indeed the End Times. The Onion has been acquired by the Chinese. A company that apparently specializes in fish and consumer products.
As the longtime publisher of this news-paper, it is my duty and unrestrained pleasure to inform you spittle-soaked readers that I have sold The Onion and all of its various holdings to a syndicate of industrious China-men from the deepest heart of the Orient. One of their representatives oozed and crawled from his dank hut to visit me in person at my bedside last week, and make known his superiors' desire to expand their clammy clutch into the Western world. After subjecting me to a good 20 minutes of infernal bowing and other assorted chinky-dinkery, he offered to pay me what I've been assured is an appropriately absurd parcel of riches to take this tiresome publication off my feeble hands for good.
Maybe they'd be interested in Jessica's Well? I think we should make a run at them, Nat, before they figure out that none of these things on the internets make any money.
The problem is that I tend to believe it.
It is surely a rumor that the Secret Service's nickname for His O'liness is Clothes Horse.
President Obama's Approval/Disapproval ratings are now even.
Congress is now spending about $3 trillion more than it did in 1945, at the end of World War II, once numbers are adjusted for inflation.
July 18, 2009
PRESIDENT Obama promises that "if you like your health plan, you can keep it," even after he reforms our health-care system. That's untrue. The bills now before Congress would force you to switch to a managed-care plan with limits on your access to specialists and tests.
Two main bills are being rushed through Congress with the goal of combining them into a finished product by August. Under either, a new government bureaucracy will select health plans that it considers in your best interest, and you will have to enroll in one of these "qualified plans." If you now get your plan through work, your employer has a five-year "grace period" to switch you into a qualified plan. If you buy your own insurance, you'll have less time.
And as soon as anything changes in your contract -- such as a change in copays or deductibles, which many insurers change every year -- you'll have to move into a qualified plan instead (House bill, p. 16-17).
When you file your taxes, if you can't prove to the IRS that you are in a qualified plan, you'll be fined thousands of dollars -- as much as the average cost of a health plan for your family size -- and then automatically enrolled in a randomly selected plan (House bill, p. 167-168).
Read the whole thing.
It's nice to have friends who are graphic artists.
July 17, 2009
Your last name is Bjerkness. And now you are nationally known as the "rubber exercise ball fetish burglar".
I'd say that qualifies.
Thirty years ago. Wow.
I am sure that the White House is crafting a suitable apology to the Russians for beating them to the moon.
Which was pretty arrogant of us, don't you think?
"Wonderful! If the new health care bill passes it means that my children will get the exact same health care as Sasha and Malia Obama!"
If the government can force you into its health care plan by outlawing your ability to contract with a private insurer as they are now attempting to do in the proposed "health care" bill, then why can't they do the same thing with education?
If they can outlaw private health coverage then why couldn't they outlaw private schools in the name of the same lofty goals?
It's the perfect storm for the so-called "progressive" mind. Control over everyone's education and a huge sop to the teacher's union all in one package.
Given what we know of the progressive bent towards tyranny and control the question is more, "Why wouldn't they if they got the chance?"
July 16, 2009
And so Barack Obama, our rock-star president, keeps checking the victim-spoils boxes and nominates Sonia Sotomayor to fill the position of David Souter on the Supreme Court. She was chosen, of course, not for her mind but because of her skin and sex.
A young man on YouTube, named Proteanview, joins the ranks of the delightful AlfonZo Rachel in saying things that white people can no longer say without cat calls of racism.
Proteanview has no truck with the idea that Sotomayor's views are more important for being Hispanic. No, let's wait; that's not enough boxes to check. Female Hispanic. Latina. Twofer. Obama seems to believe that somehow the source sanctifies the content. This deictic view only holds water in divine revelation, but it is the corollary to the view that anything proceeding out of the mouth of a straight, white man is automatically suspect. This stance is an insult to the truth, which should stand above all men. "If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one to hear it, does it make a sound?" Of course it does, you damned fool.
I would hope that a wise white man with a richness of experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a black woman hasn't lived such a life. Is that racist?The short clip is here:
I realize that I am doing my part to consider the source in amplifying my view by a video from a man whose race lends the viewpoint credibility entirely by something which ought to be of no impart: his race. I excuse myself by my gratitude at not being hated for the crime of being white.
"Is it true?" should be a question which should be able to be posed and answered by anyone or anything without regard to the usual victim categories. Truth is no respecter of sex or race and to suggest that truth waits on race or sex is to abuse truth, and ultimately race or sex, because if what you say is judged by your membership in a victim group, you must, at some point, begin to realize that you're being condescended to and patronized. What adult likes to be patronized? What adult? And at some point, if you are honest, you have to realize that you have given up a lot of your freedom of action and thought to something which you have no control over, and that you cannot form your own identity.
Sonia Sotomayor, His O'liness's Hispanic check-box, has a reputation for a lack of command of technical legal details and even many liberals cannot find it in themselves to praise the quality of her mind. She would for example circulate memos to colleagues which suggested fixing typos but ignored substantive legal issues. Someone who cannot see the forest for the trees does not have the mind of a Supreme Court justice. And it is unfair to the country, and eventually to her, and certainly to the truth, to pretend that she is suited for the job by means of her sex and race. Her sex and race only it seems.
But there is, to be sure, something fitting about President Empty Suit proposing one Empty Robe to fill the place of another Empty Robe.
Well, perhaps not. I will ruin the mystery of the legacy of the Obama years to reveal the ending: The TelePrompTer did it.
Here is your Hope and Change:
It didn't take long to run into an "uh-oh" moment when reading the House's "health care for all Americans" bill. Right there on Page 16 is a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal.
When we first saw the paragraph Tuesday, just after the 1,018-page document was released, we thought we surely must be misreading it. So we sought help from the House Ways and Means Committee.
It turns out we were right: The provision would indeed outlaw individual private coverage. Under the Orwellian header of "Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage," the "Limitation On New Enrollment" section of the bill clearly states:
"Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day" of the year the legislation becomes law.
So we can all keep our coverage, just as promised -- with, of course, exceptions: Those who currently have private individual coverage won't be able to change it. Nor will those who leave a company to work for themselves be free to buy individual plans from private carriers.
What wasn't known until now is that the bill itself will kill the market for private individual coverage by not letting any new policies be written after the public option becomes law.
The legislation is also likely to finish off health savings accounts, a goal that Democrats have had for years. They want to crush that alternative because nothing gives individuals more control over their medical care, and the government less, than HSAs.
July 15, 2009
I hate baseball and even I knew that it was Comiskey Park. Yes, Comiskey. And it's "Park", not "Field".
I know it's not a big deal....except for the fact that he is obviously bullsh***** about any love of baseball.
Still, President Obama's love of baseball is probably greater than his love of your liberty.
Someone that you should know about. Some of you that are fans of HBO's "Band of Brothers" series may already recognize the name.
July 14, 2009
I wonder how low that number could go before the Democrat Party would no longer be a viable national party.
Want one? Go here.
UPDATE: Graphic added for the benefit of commenter "Bipolar Stu" who is demonstrably unable to process either text, numbers or tables. Let us see if pictures help.
The national debt is expected to pass the one trillion dollar mark for the first time ever and some expect it get to two trillion sooner rather than later.
Turns out that Hope and Change was really only Tax and Spend on Crack.
And this is before his intended nationalization (read rationing) of the health care industry and the Cap and Trade lunacy.
Truly, if President Obama were actually trying to wreck the economy what would he be doing differently?
C'mon, Obamatons, admit it. You have actually begun to cringe a bit whenever you see the old Hope and Change literature from last year's campaign.
July 12, 2009
I've been reading quite a lot lately. Here is the latest take from my trawling:
Victor Davis Hanson on our current state of affairs:
You see, I think the point was never much to build more bike paths on borrowed money or just bail out GM, but rather more to reengineer the tax code, as part of a grander vision of creating a new equality of result in America.
Mark Steyn, opining on ditto:
According to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, we only have 96 months left to save the planet. I'm impressed. 96 months. Not 95. Not 97. July 2017.
I had a similar thought: pretty damned precise for a twit without an education in science or engineering or anything else applicable to the matter at hand. More:
If you were a 19th-century Russian peasant and you got to Ellis Island, you'd be living in a tenement on the Lower East Side, but your kids would get an education and move uptown, and your grandkids would be doctors and accountants in Westchester County. And your great-grandchild would be a Harvard-educated environmental activist demanding an end to all this electricity and indoor toilets.
And last but best, Keith Hennessey's brutal fisking of Our President's op ed in the Washington Post. Ergo:
Pres. Obama: "The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was not expected to restore the economy to full health on its own but to provide the boost necessary to stop the free fall. So far, it has done that."
2.6 million fewer Americans are employed now than when the President took office, and the unemployment rate is 9.5% and climbing. Job loss in June was greater than in May. The good scenario is one in which we continue to lose jobs for "only" another six months. Please prove that the stimulus is working. To use the Administration's misleading metric, how many jobs have been "saved or created" so far?
Pres.Obama: "It was, from the start, a two-year program, and it will steadily save and create jobs as it ramps up over this summer and fall."
Uh-oh. Why are the verbs now in the future tense? And what happened to the specific and oft-repeated prediction of 3.5 million jobs by the end of next year? Those are important language changes, along with the implicit admission that the stimulus has not yet "ramped up."
Go read all 3 articles. More understanding of the present crisis is necessary. We are not entering anything like a recovery at this point. We may be 6 months off; we may be 18 months off. We may be looking at 2009 as pretty tall cotton come 2012 or '13. We just don't know. But real reasons for optimism are in very short supply lately. Unless you are a statist.
Which brings us to this: from Philladelphia, on Rand, von Hayek and Our Ruling Class:
...there is a growing disconnect between the country's political class and its citizens. It was manifestly on display last month when the House approved the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill, which in its final form was longer than Atlas Shrugged and which none of the members voting on it had read.
That the free citizens of a free country would be served so cavalierly by their elected representatives is the sort of thing any good novelist would hesitate to invent, for fear it would seem too implausible.
July 8, 2009
There. I have done my part for the planet and I cannot now be considered an "Earth-Traitor" nor be compared to a Nazi-like creature which must be fought.
I pledge never to own a home that consumes 20 times the average in electricity, like Al Gore does.
I pledge never to spend countless hours in Gulfstream level jets that consume countless gallons of jet fuel, like Al Gore does.
That ought to do it.
I can't even picture Al Gore walking through any of his many houses specifically to flip off the lights in each room like every normal parent in America does routinely once the kids have been packed off to school. I'm sure he has "people" to do that for him.
And just look at the guy. Concerning his personal carbon footprint, not only does he run through electricity and jet fuel like a maniac you just know the guy goes through more towels per day than 99% of the men in the country.
It always amazes me that the solution for any crisis, be it social, atmospheric, or whatever, is the creation of an income stream transferring wealth from one group to another and that standing astride said income stream are the very people demanding we act to solve the crisis.
Before he flunked out of Divinity School, the good Reverend Gore learned enough to create a religion, burn its heretics, and make loads of money selling indulgences.
July 7, 2009
Last Month I asked the simple question, how's the Cingular deal working out?
In that article I cited the Midland Development Corporation listing of major employers and the City of Midland 2008 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report as my source for the 600 employee level at the Cingular (AT&T) call center.
600 is an interesting number of employees, because according to Paragraph XXXIV of the Tax Abatement Contract (1.3MB PDF), Cingular (now AT&T) agreed to employ 750 full time employees in the Midland Call Center starting on April 1, 2003 through the end of the contract in 2011.
Based on the "Spirit" of the contract, if Cingular only has 600 employees working at the facility, they have essentially violated the "deal" sold to the City and the Taxpayers of Midland. However, according to Paragraph X, "Default: Recapture of Tax Revenue", Cingular actually isn't in default unless their employment drops to below 75% of the contracted amount, or 562.5 employees. (Lucky them)
Under Section XXI of the Abatement Contract, Cingular (AT&T) is required to make an annual written reports which certifies their compliance with the terms of the abatement agreement each June 1.
I wonder what the employment level was in that report last month?
Exit Question: Given Cingular has laid off workers to a level below their promise to the City (but above breach of contract), do you think Cingular is going to be around once the abatement expires, or the value of the abatement is worth less than closing the facility?
July 4, 2009
During a recent trip we went to a beach and while we were strolling around we came across some messages written into the sand from school children to soldiers thanking them for the sacrifices that the soldiers had made in order that these schoolchildren could enjoy life and liberty in a free country.
All in all there were about 50 or 60 of these messages spread out across an area of about 100 yards.
It was a moment in which it was impossible not to feel good. But there is more.
Click "Continue reading...." below to see.
July 3, 2009
I can't say I blame her. There are probably several reasons but she has a family to protect, too.
And when it has gotten to the point where one of the leading names at the Tiffany Network can outright call you and your 14 year old daughter a slut while on the air...and then be allowed to explain it away satisfactorily to the media elites in this country by saying, "Oops, I meant to call her and her 18 year-old daughter not her 14 year-old daughter sluts on the air. My bad.", then we have reached a pretty sad point.
July 2, 2009
What does President Obama hate more?
A) Democratic movements in Latin America and Iran, or
B) Independent Inspectors General snooping around his pet projects wondering, you know, where the money went?
Because I think that the number of Inspector Generals that have been fired by the transparent and honest Obama Administration has now exceeded the number of U.S. Attorneys that Bush removed. Gee, do you think that there will be any Congressional hearings concerning this?
An idea, not a tip. I don't know anything. But since overgenerous government worker pension funds are going bust all over the country it would be interesting to see an article on how our local governments' employee pension funds are doing and how solvent they are over the mid to long term. And MISD's also, I guess.
I'm curious, freed from fear of the Bush Terror, did these guys ever hold a second meeting?
July 1, 2009
Not just because of his outright character flaws, but mostly because he seems to undependable to the point that he is having a nervous breakdown or something. His statements since being caught in a tryst are getting more and more bizarre.
Of course, the left is having a field day with "yet another hypocritical family-values Republican" getting caught with his pants down.
And the press will claim that the only reason that Sanford gets wall-to-wall coverage...unlike, say, John Edwards (who ran around on his cancer stricken-wife and even conceived a "Love Child"), is only because of the hypocrisy angle.
If the hypocrisy angle is what really drives it into the MSM's consciousness then how come we don't hear much about a Presidential Cabinet and series of appointments peppered with tax cheats?
Why is the hypocrisy angle operative when Republicans are caught cheating on their wives but not when Democrats are caught cheating on their taxes?
Gee, thanks, Minnesota. Caligula at least appointed the entire horse.